Saturday, December 10, 2011

Salt Dough Ornaments

I'm still learning how to manage my time at home. This new hair styling job takes up way more time than I'd like and my housework will often fall to the way side. Sometimes I simply choose to play with my kids over keeping a clean kitchen. Here's one of those days!
I found this super easy recipe for salt dough and as soon as I realized we had all the ingredients, it instantly rose to the top of my to-do list.

The recipe I used was:

1 cup salt
2 cups flour
1 cup water

I kneaded it for about 7 min. then we rolled it out, used cookie cutters, and I poked a hole in the top with a straw. Easy peasy.

We had to bake them for around 2 hours at 250. When they cooled we used acrylic paint, white glue and glitter to decorate. I did all the writing with a black Sharpie. It worked like a charm and was much easier than a brush.

After they were completely dry, I sprayed them with a high gloss spray. I love a little shine on kid projects. They somehow look a little more finished.

 The kids had a blast! (And I obviously enjoyed our project as well!)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Creative Gift Wrap

   I always feel silly when I try to wrap gifts for guys. Deep down, I want to throw something frilly together; but I end up making it simple and boring. In the end I guess they never care; however, this time around I actually came up with a decent idea. 
  We happened to have black wrapping paper in the closet. I think I picked it up at the dollar store, or someplace like that. It reminded me of a chalk board so I wrote on it with chalk. 
Instead of a ribbon, cheap twine looked pretty cute. Then I hot glued some silk leaves on it in place of a bow.
   I think this would be really cute for a teachers gift too or or even your child's first day of school.

This worked out so well, black paper might become a gift wrapping staple for us.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

How to Smooth Out Frosting {Princess Barbie Cake}

For the cake itself I baked an entire cake mix in a 9" Pyrex bowl. It took close to an hour to bake. Then I made 3- 9" round cakes. All together it took about 2 1/2 cake mixes. Cut circles in the middle of all the cakes, stack layers with frosting in between, wrap Barbie in plastic wrap then drop her down into the center. Pretty easy and much cheaper than those princess cake pans you buy at a craft store

Smooth Frosting

Start by making your own butter cream frosting. Here's the recipe I used:
In a mixer combine - 
1 cup butter
1 pound powdered sugar (add just a little at a time)
1 teaspoon vanilla
a couple teaspoons water (or milk) until you  reach the desired consistency

I needed about 4X the recipe for this cake.

 Smooth frosting out the best you can. I used upward strokes with a spatula.
Now refrigerate until it's crusted over. About 10-15 minutes.

Place a paper towel onto the frosting and smooth your hands over it. You can feel the lumps and gently apply just a little extra pressure to those areas. Gently peel off the paper towel. It shouldn't stick too much. If it does, you either pressed too hard or didn't refrigerate it enough.

Refrigerate it again then apply your piped designs.

A perfect princess cake for your princess!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Party For My Princess

I know it's been a while since I last posted. Our days are finally starting to settle into a routine leaving me a little more time to do things for myself and work on creative projects.
Even though our little world has been turned upside down,
I still threw a Barbie Princess birthday bash for my sweet girl.

I decked out a simple pink tiara with goodies from my craft stash.
Barbie Princess Dress we found at a yard sale. Lucky us!

{Barbie Princess Party Details List}

Decor we had on hand:
Pink curtains (hand-me-downs)
Pink tablecloth overlay (from her grandma's fabric stash)
Birthday banner (from her 1st birthday)
Pom poms (from her bedroom)
Pink pails (left over from a bridal shower)
Yard sale fan (one of her toys)

Party items we found on clearance:
Pink plates 
Princess napkins

$1 party deals:
Tiara party favors for girls
Sword party favors for boys
Yard sale dress for the birthday girl

Heart shaped PB&J sandwiches
Juice with club soda
and of course a Barbie cake I made!
(I'll give details on the cake next week. So stay tuned...)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Playing With Mirrors and Vibrance

The other day, I decided to take photos of my niece on our massive mirror. I'm not a skilled photographer like my hubby, but I still think they turned out pretty cute.

Here's how I bumped up the "vibrance" in the pictures.

1. Open your picture in Photoshop
2.Go to "Image"
3. Select "Adjustments"
4. Click on "Vibrance"
5. Adjust your "Vibrance" and "Saturation" until you like how it looks.

That's it! Now you can turn a not so great image into something pretty cool!
A little dull... to FUN!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


11.8%  is the unemployment rate in California and my husband recently joined that percentage.
I don't mean to drag all of you down, but I do want to share. I know we are among MANY and if you are in the same situation, I feel your pain!
So it's time for both of us to find work. The last time this happened it took 6 months for him to get a job.
To promote myself and hopefully drum up some clients we put together a little portfolio while at family camp (it was already paid for so we went on a little vacation despite our turn of events)
First I did hair and makeup for some fellow campers and Brett took pictures by the lake. Here's what we came up with:

Then we turned our cabin into a photography studio. I did the hair and makeup of this staff volunteer and Brett took these pictures. This is how they turned out:

I hope to get back into the salon world in the next couple weeks. I just can't decide if I want to do commission or booth rental. After a few meetings with a few key people those questions should be ironed out and I'll be able to make a decision. Either way, I won't be making a killing by any means. But every little bit helps right?
I plan on writing for my blog still. I need the distraction! So hang in there! My life has just received a little twist and I need to adapt. After all, it's the twists that make life interesting right?

And The Winner Is...

For the Pink Poodle Bows Giveaway my two participants obviously had pretty good odds of wining. :) But even still there could only be one winner and it is

I hope you enjoy you pattern! Thanks to both of you for participating!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Home Atmosphere

     We've had a few rough weeks. You know the kind. Something arises and you get stressed, cranky, and have zero patience for the kids or anyone else in your life. Insomnia strikes and now you're constantly tired as well. 
    What do you do? Fume? Throw a pity party? Get depressed and let the house go to pot?
     I contemplated my options. I didn't like what life looked like when I gave into the negativity. I refuse to let unkind people or unfortunate events steal my joy. So I accepted our circumstances. Life happens. Troubles come. It's inevitable. I want my kids to see grace under pressure. Experience patience and joy when the road is rocky. That seems so unnatural and can be really hard, but I want my home to be a place of peace and a haven of rest for my family. So I slowed down and wrote a list of how to stay calm and what my focus should be each week. My list will probably look different from another persons, but this made a huge difference in the atmosphere of our home.

1. Cuddle
2. Read to the kids during the day and read something fun for myself before bed.
3. Lavish extra love on my family.
4. Try to stay home as much as possible to simplify my week.
5. Play outside.
6. Be content.
7. Write down my blessings and what I'm thankful for.
8. Ask my kids what they are thankful for.
9. Make a special  meal.
10. See house work as a way of beautifying our home rather than a drudgery.
11. Avoid negative talk and complaining of any kind.
12. Have a movie night.
13. Stick to a schedule so the day goes smoothly and naps are taken on time.
14. Invite a friend over.
15. Pare down the to-do list.
16. Cuddle some more!
17. Read my Bible.
18. Pray.

What do you do when hard times come?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pink Poodle Bows GIVEAWAY!!!!!

A few weeks ago I discovered Pink Poodle Bows on Etsy. 

Alisha has some seriously cute sewing patterns on there. I instantly fell in love with the 
Madison Dress with the ruffled bodice...

and made it for my daughter!

Her patterns are really simple and soooo sweet. There are skirts, tops, dresses,
rompers, pants and even diaper cover patterns.  She's a talented woman!
You can even check out her BLOG where she has other sewing tutorials.

Lucky for us Pink Poodle Bow is giving away ONE 
free PDF pattern!
Make sure you are a follower of my blog then head over to her shop to find which of her patterns is your favorite. Leave a comment at this post telling us which one you'd like and I'll draw a name on August 14th . I'll announce the winner August 15th 2011.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Life For Old Shoes

 I bought these shoes at a yard sale for my daughter a few months ago.
  Her favorite color is pink, so I decided to pretty them up for her.
First they needed a good cleaning so I threw the shoes into the washer 
then I scrubbed the toes with a magic eraser. 
The pink laces came from another pair of shoes 
which I brightened up with Oxi Clean. 
Now for the fun part!
I sewed on some felt flower buttons I purchased ($2.50), a little scrap of yellow ribbon
and some small round buttons I already had on hand.
Once sewed on, I applied a little glue to the underside of the petals 
 just to make sure they don't fall off.
A whole new look for just a couple bucks!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sunday Best

I love to dress up my little doll. Lucky for me, she's quite willing to let me put her in sweet little dresses and be ultra girly. Every Sunday, I dress myself and the kids up the best I can from top to bottom. We look like a million bucks but I never shell out as much dough as it looks like. Here's a perfect example. This is among my favorite looks for Little Miss:

Dress $6 
from consignment store

Headband Free 
I made it 

Pearls $1

Shoes $12
T.J.  Maxx

I will sometimes spend a few extra dollars for shoes or a hat if I think it will top off their wardrobe. I know this sounds silly, but I think accessories can really make an outfit, even for kids!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Frayed Rosette Headband Tutorial

Here's my Frayed Rosette Headband Tutorial in case 
you missed it on Ucreate:

Make sure all your strips are cut on the bias (cut your fabric on an angle so the threads in the fabric are running on the diagonal). This way you don't have threads shedding off your headband.

Cut one strip of fabric 2" X 9"
Cut two strips of fabric 1-1/2"  X 9"
Cut two more strips as long as you can make them 1" wide to wrap your headband with.

Step One: Take the widest strip and fold in half lengthwise about 3/4 of the way as in the picture.

Step Two: Sew along the long folded edge and pull the stitching to gather it.

Step Three: Sew the short ends together so you have a ring.

Step Four: Squash the circle a little to make an oval and sew the middle together on the backside so it stays an oval shape.

Step Five: Repeat steps 1-4 on the 1-1/2 " strips.

Now you should have three ovals that look like this.

Step Six: Fray the edges of the ovals by pulling on the fabric with your fingers.

Step Seven: Fray one side of your long 1" strips. Then simply wrap your headband in the strips of fabric pulling the fabric a little so it forms to the arch of the band. Wrap the fabric at a slight angle and overlap just a little as you go. I put a dab of hot glue on the underside of the headband with each wrap of fabric.  If you need two strips to completely cover the headband, place your "seam" on the top where you'll be gluing your rosettes.

Step Eight: Hot glue the ovals onto your headband and if you'd like add a button, rhinestones, or a vintage earring like I did.